Cheap Amusements Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York

ISBN-10: 0877225001

ISBN-13: 9780877225003

Edition: N/A

Authors: Kathy Peiss

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Description:

What did young, independent women do for fun and how did they pay their way into New York City's turn-of-the-century pleasure places? Cheap Amusements is a fascinating discussion of young working women whose meager wages often fell short of bare subsistence and rarely allowed for entertainment expenses.Kathy Peiss follows working women into saloons, dance halls, Coney Island amusement parks, social clubs, and nickelodeons to explore the culture of these young women between 1880 and 1920 as expressed in leisure activities. By examining the rituals and styles they adopted and placing that culture in the larger context of urban working-class life, she offers us a complex picture of the dynamics shaping a working woman's experience and consciousness at the turn-of-the-century. Not only does her analysis lead us to new insights into working-class culture, changing social relations between single men and women, and urban courtship, but it also gives us a fuller understanding of the cultural transformations that gave rise to the commercialization of leisure.The early twentieth century witnessed the emergence of "heterosocial companionship" as a dominant ideology of gender, affirming mixed-sex patterns of social interaction, in contrast to the nineteenth century's segregated spheres. Cheap Amusements argues that a crucial part of the "reorientation of American culture" originated from below, specifically in the subculture of working women to be found in urban dance halls and amusement resorts. Author note: Kathy Peiss author of Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York.
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Book details

List price: $28.95
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 4/6/1987
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.858
Language: English

Kathy Peiss received her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1982. Her research specialties include the history of American women, gender, sexuality, leisure, consumption, and popular culture. She is the author of Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture (1998) and Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York (1986), co-author of Men and Women: A History of Costume, Gender, and Power (1989), and co-editor of Passion and Power: Sexuality in History (1989). Her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals, including Genders, Social Problems, Business History Review, The Nation, Journal of American History, and Women's Review of Books. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Homosocial World of Working-Class Amusements
Leisure and Labor
Putting on Style
Dance Madness
The Coney Island Excursion
Cheap Theater and the Nickel Dumps
Reforming Working Women's Recreation
Conclusion
Notes
Index
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